Sunday, February 7, 2010

Oriental Rugs Today: Buying Rugs in Turkey

This morning, I was reading Oriental Rugs Today written by Emmett Eiland, a very informative book. One topic seemed interesting and since sometimes my customers ask me if they should buy rugs when they are on a trip to Turkey, I cite this part of the book here.

Of all the rug-weaving countries in the world, Turkey may be the most fun for travelers looking to buy...Turkish rug merchants are engaging people who can make the whole process of buying a rug fun, and they are perfectly capable of shipping rugs internationally.

Given these attractions, travelers often buy rugs abroad that they wouldn't have bought had they had an opportunity to try at home on an approval basis. travelers get caught up in the local aesthetic and admire rugs in Turkey, for instance, that don't look so good to them at home. Of course,that is not the fault of Turkish merchants.

But there is a more sinister side to the story. Nearly all the folks who show us rugs they have brought back from Turkey have been lied to by Turkish merchants in some respect. Most have been given an exaggerated notion of a rug's age. Very often they have been told that a rug was woven with natural dyes when, in fact, it was not. Lately we have seen a number of cases in which Turkish rug dealers have sold tourists cheap rugs from other countries and passed them off as Turkish.

Worst of all, sometimes people are sold rugs in Turkey for far more than they are worth. Sometimes thousands of dollars more-and usually a buyer in that case has little recourse.

...Our advice? Buy rugs in Turkey and elsewhere abroad just as you would gamble. That is, have fun-but don't bet more that you can afford to lose.

I thought this is what many who travel and buy rugs should know. The picture of the rug I used here is the courtesy of

Dr. Khosrow Sobhe (Dr. Kay)
Certified Rug Specialist (CRS)

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